Influenza (flu) is a
respiratory illness caused by viruses that attack the lungs, nose, and throat.
These viruses are very different from those that cause stomach upset and
diarrhea or the “stomach flu”. Flu symptoms can be mild or severe, but
typically cause a cough, sore throat, body aches, and fever. Usually, influenza
is more severe than a cold, and symptoms start very suddenly. Most healthy
people will recover from influenza without complication, but certain people are
at risk for severe complications such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, and
hospitalization. Children under the age of 2, adults over 65, pregnant women,
and people with chronic health conditions are most at risk for developing
serious complications from the flu. 3,952 influenza related hospitalizations,
385 influenza-like illness outbreaks in schools, and 2 pediatric deaths have
occurred during the 2016-2017 flu season.